Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

Well, I’m still sore. I have blisters on one foot (why only one?), and I’m still tired.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

You’re getting a sneak preview; we’ll show this in church tomorrow.

The Bedford County Relay For Life was a fun, moving and entirely satisfactory experience. I got there at maybe 5:20 on Friday evening and it was probably going on 7 this morning before I got away. I stayed up all night, took plenty of turns walking, had to remove rocks from my shoes on numerous occasions, and had lots of fun.

Most importantly, FUMC met our first-time goal of $2,000. At our booth, we sold steak sandwiches, hand-knitted craft items and soaps (not mine), and took entries for, as you saw on the video, “Cow Patty Bingo,” just as John Wesley would have wanted it. Entrants in the contest selected one of 64 squares which had been marked off in the pen; a couple from the church provided the recently-fed heifer, and we waited for her to, well, choose the winner. The contest was won by one of my Times-Gazette co-workers, our general manager and erstwhile editor, William Mitchell.

County-wide, and including various team fund-raisers which have been taking place for months, the Relay has raised $60,000 so far, and we will keep counting until August.

I was moved to see that the women of Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, where my father pastored for a number of years, had purchased a torch in memory of my mother. (The name of the church is misspelled on the plaque):

Mom2

Mom3

The motto of this year’s event is “Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.” Exactly right. This was a time to celebrate those who have survived cancer, like our FUMC team captain Vickie Hull, who worked tirelessly to put our effort together. This is a time to remember those who have been lost. And it’s a time to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Cancer is the bastard that killed my mother. Let’s laugh at it; then, let’s put it away forever.

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